Women are vital partners on our family farms; they are the driving force in local associations, volunteer groups, municipal councils, and cooperatives.
Commissioner Phil Hogan
Phil Hogan, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, participated in a second Citizens' Dialogue, entitled: "Women Entrepreneurs in Rural Ireland" with 60 people in the Representation, Dublin on the morning of Friday 15 March.
Mairead McGuinness, 1st Vice-President of the European Parliament was also present, joined by two female rural entrepreneurs: Norma Dineen of Bó Rua Farm and Siobhan Lawless of Foods of Athenry. The main themes of the debate were women in agriculture, trade and small business.
On the issue of financial support for female rural entrepreneurs, Commissioner Hogan pointed to the EAFRD's support of the development of basic services in rural areas, local initiatives and start-up of non-agricultural and agricultural activities and promotes greater cooperation between local actors.
On CAP, Commissioner Hogan made the point that it will be the Commission's wish – after 2020 -to offer increased flexibility to Member States in addressing the specific needs of rural women in their national CAP Strategic Plans.
Commissioner Hogan concluded by urging those present to familiarise themselves with the new delivery model of the CAP Strategic Plan, and make sure that their voice is heard and make absolutely certain that Ireland's national CAP Strategic Plan adequately reflects the needs and wants of rural women.
1st Vice-President of the European Parliament, Mairead McGuinness urged consumers of rural products and services to engage in the "story behind the product" and to value the chain which delivers these services and products.